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Who Cares – and Does It Matter? Measuring Wage Penalties for Caring Work

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Who Cares – and Does It Matter? Measuring Wage Penalties for Caring Work (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

Economists and sociologists have proposed arguments for why there can exist wage penalties for work involving helping and caring for others, penalties borne disproportionately by women. Evidence on wage penalties is neither abundant nor compelling. We examine wage differentials associated with caring jobs using multiple years of Current Population Survey (CPS) earnings files matched to O*NET job descriptors that provide continuous measures of ‘assisting and caring’ and ‘concern’ for others across all occupations. This approach differs from prior studies that assume occupations either do or do not require a high level of caring. Cross-section and longitudinal analyses are used to examine wage differences associated with the level of caring, conditioned on worker, location, and job attributes. Wage level estimates suggest substantive caring penalties, particularly among men. Longitudinal estimates based on wage changes among job switchers indicate smaller wage penalties, our preferred estimate being a 2 percent wage penalty resulting from a one standard deviation increase in our caring index. We find little difference in caring wage gaps across the earnings distribution. Measuring mean levels of caring across the U.S. labor market over nearly thirty years, we find a steady upward trend, but overall changes are small and there is no evidence of convergence between women and men.

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States with Equal Minimum Wages for Tipped Workers Have Smaller Wage Gaps for Women Overall and Lower Poverty Rates for Tipped Workers

September 18, 2014 Comments off

States with Equal Minimum Wages for Tipped Workers Have Smaller Wage Gaps for Women Overall and Lower Poverty Rates for Tipped Workers
Source: National Women’s Law Center

The federal minimum cash wage for tipped workers has been frozen at $2.13 per hour for 23 years, and now represents less than a third of the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour)—its lowest share on record. The inadequate tipped minimum wage is particularly detrimental to women, who represent two-thirds of tipped workers nationally. Increasing wages for the predominately female workers at the bottom of the pay scale can reduce poverty and help close the wage gap. Raising the federal minimum cash wage for tipped workers—ideally, by eliminating it altogether—is a crucial step toward fair pay for women and economic security for their families.

Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2014

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2014
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

This issue of Gender Indicators, Australia, includes new data on a range of indicators of social interest to men and women. The Economic security, Education, Health, Safety and justice, and Democracy, governance and citizenship domains have been updated with data that has become available since the product was last released in February 2014.

  • Unpublished 2013-14 data from the ABS Labour Force Survey and 2013 data from the Forms of Employment Survey (FoES) have been used to update 14 tables in the Economic security domain, including labour force participation rate, average hours worked per week and the proportion of employees without paid leave entitlements.
  • Six tables in the Education domain have been updated with data from the ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS), 2012-13; ABS Schools, Australia, 2013; and Graduate Careers Australia, ‘Graduate Salaries’, Melbourne 2014 (GradStats). Tables updated include attainment of Year 12 or a formal qualification at Certificate II or above, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and median starting salary of Bachelor Degree graduates.
  • The Health domain has been updated to include data from the ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS), 2012-13, and Causes of Death, Australia, 2012. Tables updated include long-term health conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and leading causes of death.
  • Unpublished data from the ABS Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2012-13; Recorded Crime – Victims, Australia, 2013; and Recorded Crime – Offenders, Australia, 2012-13, has been used to update five tables in the Safety and Justice domain including victims and victimisation rates for robbery by age, recorded victims and victimisation rates by selected offences, and offender rates by age and by principal offence.
  • The Democracy, governance and citizenship domain has been updated with unpublished data from the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat. Tables updated include Judges and magistrates (High Court, Federal Court, Family Court, Federal Magistrates Service) and State Supreme Court judges, and Recipients and nominations considered for the Order of Australia, General Division, by category.

The ‘Living with a Disability’ commentary has also been updated with data from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0).

EU — Occupational profiles in working conditions: Identification of groups with multiple disadvantages

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Occupational profiles in working conditions: Identification of groups with multiple disadvantages
Source: Eurofound

Job quality indexes are constructed on the basis of such aspects of working conditions as earnings, prospects, working time, and intrinsic job quality. Occupations where job quality is consistently low are labelled ‘occupations with multiple disadvantages’. This report uses data from the fifth European Working Conditions Survey to identify such occupations. It finds that workers in mid-skilled manual and lowskilled occupations do quite poorly when it comes to earnings, prospects and intrinsic job quality, and they report relatively low levels of both physical and mental well-being. However, their working time quality is generally good. In contrast, workers in high-skilled occupations do relatively well on almost all job quality indicators, except working time. An executive summary is also available.

Why America’s Workers Need Faster Wage Growth—And What We Can Do About It

September 10, 2014 Comments off

Why America’s Workers Need Faster Wage Growth—And What We Can Do About It
Source: Economic Policy Institute

The last year has been a poor one for American workers’ wages. Comparing the first half of 2014 with the first half of 2013, real (inflation-adjusted) hourly wages fell for workers in nearly every decile—even for those with a bachelor’s or advanced degree.

Of course, this is not a new story. Comparing the first half of 2014 with the first half of 2007 (the last period of reasonable labor market health before the Great Recession), hourly wages for the vast majority of American workers have been flat or falling. And even since 1979, the vast majority of American workers have seen their hourly wages stagnate or decline—even though decades of consistent gains in economy-wide productivity have provided ample room for wage growth.

The poor performance of American workers’ wages in recent decades—particularly their failure to grow at anywhere near the pace of overall productivity—is the country’s central economic challenge. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a more important economic development in recent decades. It is at the root of the large rise in overall income inequality that has attracted so much attention in recent years. A range of other economic challenges—reducing poverty, increasing mobility, and spurring a more complete recovery from the Great Recession—also rely largely on boosting hourly wage growth for the vast majority.

This paper, hand-in-hand with the overview paper (Bivens et al. 2014) for EPI’s Raising America’s Pay initiative, explains in detail why we need to raise wages in order to achieve real gains in the living standards of the vast majority of Americans. This paper begins by documenting the pronounced rise in income inequality in recent decades and then examines the implications of this rise in inequality for living standards growth for the vast majority. It then examines the link between wage growth and these wider income trends before undertaking a thorough analysis of wage trends since 1979. It concludes with an examination of the policy changes that have helped spur these wage trends by shifting bargaining power from the vast majority of workers to corporations and CEOs. The paper highlights an underappreciated subset of these policies: changes in labor market policies and business practices.

Views of Job Market Tick Up, No Rise in Economic Optimism; 56% Say They Are ‘Falling Behind’ Financially

September 9, 2014 Comments off

Views of Job Market Tick Up, No Rise in Economic Optimism; 56% Say They Are ‘Falling Behind’ Financially
Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

In advance of Friday’s jobs report, the public’s assessment of job availability in their local communities has improved modestly. But that has done nothing to boost overall economic optimism.

For Americans, jobs are only part of the economic picture: 56% say their family’s incomes are falling behind the cost of living. That is about as many as said their incomes were falling behind in October 2008 (57%), during the Wall Street financial crisis.

And 45% say they have experienced one or more serious financial hardships – such as a job layoff, an inability to pay for health care or trouble with a collection agency – over the past year. Among those with low family incomes (less than $30,000 a year), fully 66% have confronted at least one serious financial problem.

The Fatherhood Bonus and The Motherhood Penalty: Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Pay

September 9, 2014 Comments off

The Fatherhood Bonus and The Motherhood Penalty: Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Pay
Source: The Third Way

For the past forty years at least, progressive advocates have been concerned about the the wage gap between working men and women in American society. Overall, never-married women in 2012 had almost closed the wage gap—earning 96% of what men earn. So why are we still concerned about the wage gap? Is this issue over? Author Michelle J. Budig clarifies this debate by looking at the wage gap in terms of the one thing that the majority of adults experience in their lifetime—parenthood.

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